doctoral students gathered around table in discussion

With a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, you will develop the knowledge and ability to excel in leadership roles in a variety of settings.  The program offers an environment of learning through which professionals can advance their leadership skills while sharing ideas and experiences with other business and academic professionals.

Graduate Admissions

The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program is designed for potential and practicing professional leaders who wish to develop and refine their leadership skills within a range of complex organizations. The program embodies the scholar-practitioner model of professional training and prepares students to seek out leadership roles in a variety of professional settings. This degree is designed specifically for community college personnel, university personnel, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, consultants, government personnel, and criminal justice professionals.

Structured with the working adult in mind, the program provides experiences that allow the candidates to contribute to both their workplace environment and their educational cohort throughout the course of study. Participants gain a network of support as they move together through their classes, providing the maximum benefit from individual experiences and communities of collaboration. The consultancy/practicum project is an integral part of each semester's course work. The intent is to provide you with an opportunity to apply the theory and best practices to actual challenges with which you may be confronted in your professional endeavors.

As a participant in the program, you will:

  1. better understand organizations through knowledge of leadership theory, organizational cultures, decision-making processes and practice.
  2. apply organizational theory to the needs of their own organizations to increase understandings of institutions and their stakeholders.
  3. participate in appropriate field experiences focusing on authentic leadership development.
  4. acquire skills to address challenges facing institutions today and apply them in a simulated environment.

Gardner-Webb University’s School of Education offers a learning environment that supports Christian values in the classroom. You will gain valuable professional preparation to succeed in your career and to coach others in building high performance teams. You will also benefit from spiritual support that prepares you for ethical, inspired leadership.

Hear about current students' experiences in the program here.

Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership and will be prepared to make significant contributions to the organization in which they are employed while in the program and beyond. Graduates will demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in everyday work activities.

Students in the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program must hold at least a Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on all graduate-level work. A minimum of three years experience is preferred. Other requirements include the submission of a MAT or GRE score from the last five years, three letters of reference, a cohort registration form, and a personal essay explaining their purpose for obtaining an advanced degree.

The 63-credit hour program consists of nine semesters. The consecutive semesters include any summer sessions that fall in the sequence. The cohort concept is employed such that students move together through their classes providing the maximum benefit from individual experiences and communities of collaboration. The consultancy/practicum project is an integral part of each semester's course work. The intent is to provide the student an opportunity to apply the theory and best practices to actual challenges they are confronted with.

The program is comprised of two tiers. The first tier is the core course modules. This consists of the first six semesters. These modules address concepts such as cultural development in organizations, leading in a learning organization, change management, ethics, conflict resolution, strategic planning, program evaluation, qualitative research, and e-learning. Semesters seven through nine include, but are not limited to, the following specialized course modules: policy development, business law, innovation and transformation, cultural development, and self and collective efficacy. Classes are held on Saturdays and Sundays for three weekends per Fall and Spring semesters, and eight days during the Summer semester. In the Summer, four of the eight days are on campus and four are synchronous online meetings. 

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

Meet the faculty for this department
Find out how to apply
Graduate Admissions